Last week US Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) told an audience at the Greater Freedom Rally, held in a church in Spartanburg, South Carolina, that openly gay people and women engaging in premarital sex should not be allowed to teach in schools. According to the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, he neglected to comment regarding whether or not unwed sexually active men should be banned from teaching as well. DeMint has made similar comments in the past. According to CNN, during a 2004 Senate debate, DeMint said that openly gay teachers and single mothers involved in sexual relationships should be prohibited from teaching in public schools. After facing criticism for the comment, DeMint apologized for taking sides on an issue that should be reserved for school boards to decide, reported the Huffington Post. On Friday, however, DeMint mentioned his prior comments and said, “[When I said those things,] no one came to my defense,” Spartanburg Herald-Journal. “But everyone would come to me and whisper that I shouldn’t back down. They don’t want government purging their rights and their freedom to religion.” CNN reports that DeMint’s spokesman reiterated this position, stating on Tuesday that “DeMint was making a point about how the media attacks people for holding a moral opinion.” At the rally, DeMint also emphasized his position against abortion and pledged to continue working to keep marriage defined as between a man and a woman. The event’s sponsor was the CEO Roundtable of South Carolina, a political action committee that aims to “[bring] together social and economic conservatives,” according to the organization’s website.